July 24th is Pioneer Day in the state of Utah, commemorating the arrival of the Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley (the first permanent Euro-American settlers) in 1847. This state-wide celebration includes everything from parades to rodeos, fireworks to pageants, Pioneer/Frontier clothing to Native American Inter-Tribal Pow-Wows, to covered wagon reenactments and picnics. Pioneer Day is inherent to Utah’s Victorian-Era, Old West history.
Victorian Americans celebrated Independence Day much like we do today…with some notable differences. Many historic occasions coincided with Independence Day (intentionally, I imagine), and patriotism swelled from small western towns to historic cities like Philadelphia. This review of Victorian-era Fourths of July may spark your patriotism while it enlightens your view of America’s past.